Toro takes on psychedelic rock on `Mahal’


Wikimedia Commons

Chillwave pioneer Chaz Bundick, artistically known as Toro Y Moi,has released his latest album, Mahal.

Kalonga Mwenda, Staff Writer

Chillwave pioneer Chaz Bundick, artistically known as Toro Y Moi, hits the mark on his latest album, Mahal.

Coming off of a remarkably experimental hip-hop album, Soul Trash, and two instrumental rereleases of his earlier albums, the anticipation for this new record was high. This time around Toro has, once again, evolved completely, but this time he is diving into psychedelic rock head-first. This is his most sonically digestible body of work since his 2015 indie rock record.

“Last Year” is Chaz at his best vocally. His vocal evolution is almost similar to that of Childish Gambino’s. The improvement can be heard most in the muffled sections of the track as he toys with harmonies. 

Conceptually, the album is a road trip with friends switching between alternative radio stations. It’s evident during the intro and outro of “Postman,” which has radio tuning sound effects. The song also has a funny skit in the beginning, and Chaz takes a minimalist approach on the melody and lyrics. It’s simply a free-spirited song with no deeper meaning, similar to “Deja Vu.” It’s a fun one to sing along to.

“Clarity,” “The Loop,” and “Magazine” are worth a listen as well. “Clarity,” especially, is one of the strongest songs on the album.

Front to back, this sounds like the ideal summer album. The flanger filters, powerful guitar solos, and its eccentric energy all create a colorful tone.